Faithful Beauty Butterfly: All You Need to Know

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about the Faithful Beauty butterflies and caterpillars. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – (07/18/2005) Caterpillars Metamorphose into Faithful Beauty

Psychedelic caterpillars
Hello again. These life jacket orange with metallic blue dots and two long white hairs near the head caterpillars are decimating my stephanotis vine. The pupae are shiny brown and have strands of silk holding them on the leaves. I live in West Palm Beach Florida. Can you identify them?
Enid

Ed. Note: Caterpillars are often difficult to identify, and sadly, we weren’t much help to Enid, but as the following response shows, the caterpillars metamorphosed into a stunning little moth.

(07/19/2005) The psychedelic caterpillar becomes moth
Hello there. Remember the life jacket orange and metallic blue caterpillars? Well, this is what they become and it is called a faithful beauty and they are rare for West Palm Beach. Regards.
Enid

Hi Enid,
Your caterpillar photo was on our back burner, but we couldn’t really identify. Your Moth has a wonderful common name, Faithful Beauty, and the scientific name is Composia fidelissima. It is mostly tropical but does stray into South Florida. Perhaps last year’s hurricanes blew a few moths off course and they liked the climate. Thanks so much for the update.

Letter 2 – Faithful Beauty Caterpillar

Curious about this caterpillar
August 9, 2009
I’ve been trying to find out the name of this caterpillar but have yet to find anything even close to matching the pink of blue coloration. It was very small, 3-4 cm and very slender if that is of any help. Any information would be appreciated, thanks!
Kevin Toeneboehn
a dry forest in Puerto Rico

Faithful Beauty Caterpillar
Faithful Beauty Caterpillar

Hi Kevin,
The moth of the Faithful Beauty, Composia fidelissima, is just as lovely as the caterpillar.  You can find images of the entire life cycle on Bugguide.
BugGuide indicates that Uncle Sam Moth is another name for the adult.

Wow it really is beautiful!  I never would have guessed the adult would have a similar coloration. Thank you so much!

Letter 3 – Faithful Beauty Caterpillar from US Virgin Islands

Subject: Red caterpillar Blue bumps
Location: St. John US Virgin Islands
September 11, 2016 1:10 pm
In May 2016 I photographed this caterpillar and can not find any information on it. Can you help ID this caterpillar?
Signature: Michael Wojdak

Faithful Beauty Caterpillar
Faithful Beauty Caterpillar

Dear Michael,
This is the caterpillar of a Tiger Moth,
Composia fidelissima, that commonly goes by the names Faithful Beauty and Uncle Sam Moth.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. Now I can label the photo on my wall, this really helps. Be well!!!

Letter 4 – Faithful Beauty Caterpillars

Subject: Faithful Beauty Caterpillars in Central Florida
Location: Southeast Central Florida
September 9, 2012 12:48 am
Hi Daniel. This photo of twin Faithful Beauty caterpillars was just so gorgeous I wanted to share. I keep reading how they don’t stray north of Miami much but, these cats were all over devil’s potato plants at the Archie Carr refuge just north of Sebastian inlet. This would be considered south Central Florida on the east coast. A couple of the moths were flitting around, too. My husband and I saw them last year in October and came back this year (Sept.) to get photographs. The moths were too fast for us, but the cats were cooperative, not to mention quite photogenic.
Signature: Elizabeth

Faithful Beauty Caterpillars

Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for sending in your lovely photo of Faithful Beauty Caterpillars.  Perhaps the range of the Faithful Beauty is expanding due to global warming.  Faithful Beauty has to be one of the most cryptic names ever given to a moth.

Authors

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  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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